From the word,”minestra”, meaning soup in Italian, this classic vegetable soup is made throughout every region of Italy. This recipe is from my family’s roots of Genoa, Italy. All the flavors of your garden are captured in a steaming bowl of Minestra.
Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy pot, then sauté the salt pork in the oil. Add the onion, celery and carrots and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the kidney beans, potatoes, chard, cabbage and leek and continue to sauté a little more. Add the water and/or chicken broth. Add the green beans, peas, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook for one hour. Add pasta and cook for 30 minutes more.
Remove soup from heat, add the pesto, let stand for two minutes, then stir well and serve with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.
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